Teaven Fredericks makes the shot Grand County’s last game of the season. [Photo by Maren Larsen/ Moab Sun News]

The Grand County girls’ basketball team played their last away and home games last week. The first was played in Emery on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The Devils’ play suffered from a lack of players due to injury and illness and lost the game 52 to 24. Grand fared better at home on Thursday, Feb.7 with a large supporting crowd, but could not overcome San Juan’s 28-point lead and lost 44-29.

Grand fell behind from the beginning when they faced Emery on Tuesday. Emery scored 15 points in the first eight minutes while Grand managed only two. Emery kept pace during the second quarter, scoring another 15 points. Grand improved slightly and scored five points, leaving the game at the half with a score of 30 to seven.

The third quarter closely mimicked the second, with scores of 15 and six for Emery and Grand, respectively. Emery kept up their momentum in the fourth quarter and again scored 12 points. Grand made a comeback in the final quarter and scored eleven points, which rounded up the game with a final score of 54-24 and a win for Emery.

“We only had 10 players due to illness and injuries. Most girls had to play two games, and by the varsity games they were very tired,” said Grand’s head coach Rick Lopez.

On Friday Grand played their final game of the season at home against San Juan. Before the game, the school honored the three seniors on the team; Cassandra Lema, Torrie Lopez, and Linda Minor. Morgan Dalton, Kaden Stocks, and Kenzie Taysom, the team’s three senior managers, were also honored. Morgan and Kenzie have played basketball in the past but were out this season due to injury. Three swim team senior girls – Brianna Ballard, Gaby Meyer, and Zarena Rigby – were also honored.

After the seniors were honored and the pledge of allegiance was said, the game began. Shortly into the first quarter, Sam Giddings of San Juan made two foul shots to start off the game. Soon after, Teaven Fredericks of Grand scored the first two points for her team. The two teams stayed fairly close throughout the first quarter, leaving it with a score of 10-8 with the Broncos narrowly in the lead. San Juan pulled ahead in the second quarter. The Broncos scored 20 points while the Grand only managed four. At halftime, the score was 30 to 12.

After the half, grand stepped up their defense and scored six points, preventing San Juan from scoring more than nine and leaving the third quarter with a score of 39 to 18. During the fourth quarter, Grand took the lead in scoring. The home team scored 11 points and San Juan scored five. The last shot of the game was a three point shot made by senior Cassie Lema.

Grand’s comeback wasn’t enough to make up for the second quarter’s loss, and the game finished up with a 44-29 victory for San Juan. Brooke Lyman and Sam Giddings of San Juan led their team with nine points each. Tymberly Fredericks was the high-scorer for Grand with eight points, followed by senior Linda Minor with seven.

“Defense was very good. Ball handling was our best this season, and we had no trouble with their press,” Lopez said. “That’s the best we’ve looked all season as far as moving the ball and defensive coverage.”

The game against San Juan marked the end of this year’s play. Though it was not an overall winning season, the team’s two wins were a vast improvement over last year’s no-win season. Coach Rick Lopez attributes the improvement to a team that never game up working hard and never got discouraged. Since there were only two senior starters this year, the underclassmen had more time on the court, which Coach Lopez believes will give the team a strong advantage for next year. He says that the team accomplished his main goal for the season, to “keep having fun.”